Awards ceremony recognized graduating WVSOM students

Students in the graduating Class of 2018 were recognized for their achievements in medical school during an annual Graduation Awards Ceremony at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) on May 25. Graduation awards totaled $31,200.

This year’s class consisted of 189 participating graduates, with 128 graduates entering primary care residency programs and a 97 percent residency match rate for the class.

The event recognized 20 students who graduated with honors. In addition, 33 Psi Sigma Alpha students were recognized. Psi Sigma Alpha is a National Osteopathic Scholastic Honor Society. Ten students were recognized with the American Medical Women Association Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Award. Forty-four students in Sigma Sigma Phi, a national osteopathic medicine fraternity that supports medical scholastic excellence, received cords reflecting their membership in the organization. Eight graduates were recognized with special coins for their military service.

The Olivia Claire Obrokta Pediatric Award was the first individual award presented at the event. The award recognizes a student who is committed to serving in a pediatric specialty. Deena Obrokta, D.O., Class of 1994, formed the award after losing her granddaughter after only a couple months. The award recipient was Alexandra Huy.

The Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia Farson-Smith-Earley Award is presented to a fourth-year student who has matched in a West Virginia primary care residency with the intent to practice in a rural area of the state. This year’s recipient was Lucas Hamrick.

The WVSOM Alumni Association Roland P. Sharp Graduate Award was created to honor the values of WVSOM’s first president. The award honors a graduating student who exemplifies Dr. Sharp’s vision of holistic care and service. The WVSOM Alumni Association selected Zane Dennison as this year’s winner.

The Olen E. Jones WVSOM Foundation Academic Achievement Award is presented to a fourth-year student graduating in the top 10 percent of the class. The WVSOM Foundation Board of Directors selected Elizabeth Hoover as this year’s winner.

Elizabeth White was the recipient of the Opal Price Sharp Memorial Award for dedication to osteopathic medicine.

National Health Service Corps Scholarship recipients are selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration from students pursuing a career in primary health. In exchange for the scholarship, students agree to practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area with limited access to care upon graduation and licensure. The student commits to one year of service for every year that the scholarship is awarded with a two-year minimum commitment. This year’s recipients were Sana Ahmad and Anne Taylor.

WVSOM’s Rural Health Initiative recognized 11 graduates who participated in the program this year. The RHI program is designed to enhance the rural primary care curriculum at WVSOM and produce graduates uniquely qualified to practice medicine in underserved communities within rural West Virginia. Those recognized were Tara Braithwaite, Stephen Zack Cox, Zane Dennison, Kristen Gibbs, Lucas Hamrick, Randy Province, Jennifer Satar, Danielle Stankus, Brittany Streets, Robert Tavares and Emily Zagorski.

The MSOPTI Rural Scholars program aims to increase the likelihood that West Virginia medical students will self-select residency programs located within the state, establish a relationship within the community and commit to practice medicine within that area. MSOPTI, in partnership with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, provided two awards to graduating students who have been accepted into MSOPTI residency training programs within the state. This year’s recipients of the inaugural scholarship are Amber Hedgecock, who will complete a residency at AccessHealth, and Zane Dennison, who will complete a residency at United Hospital Center.

The Donald Newell Sr. Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduating Senior is presented to a graduating student who, in the opinion of his/her classmates, best exemplifies the qualities of scholarship, osteopathic professional interest, leadership and citizenship. This year’s recipient was Kristina Lim.

The Dr. William R. Holmes Scholarship is awarded to a student who has shown determination, persistence and commitment in pursuing a medical education. This year’s scholarship was presented to Kemper Steffe.  

The Gwen Clingman Memorial Scholarship is presented to a student who has demonstrated a commitment to community service throughout his or her time in medical school. Anne Taylor was recognized with the scholarship.

The Stephanie Dawn Barragy Memorial Scholarship was formed to honor Charles and Jean Cornell’s daughter who was a victim of suicide. The scholarship recognizes a student committed to working on behalf of mental health issues with a focus on patient care and intervention. Alyssa Beda was this year’s scholarship recipient.

The John and Nancy Chambers Memorial Scholarship Fund is given to a student who intends to practice medicine in an underserved community who also had a strong academic performance. It is in honor of two of the most revered former WVSOM professors. This year’s recipient was Danielle Stankus.

The Dr. Catherine A. Bishop Scholarship Award recognizes a fourth-year student committed to a residency program in West Virginia. This year’s recipient was Morgan Scarpellini.  

The West Virginia State Medical Association (WVSMA) Alliance Scholarship Fund was presented during the ceremony. The alliance is an organization comprised of physician spouses, who in the fall of 2016, established a $30,000 endowment at each of the three medical schools in West Virginia in order to provide scholarships for medical students from West Virginia who have a desire to practice in the state after they graduate. This year’s award was presented to Gabrielle LaFata. 

The West Virginia Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians Award was presented to Gabriel Gomez. Each year the organization recognizes one student from each of the three medical schools in West Virginia whose performance in clinical rotations accurately reflects an understanding and commitment to the delivery of emergency care.

The Order of the Vesalius Award is presented to students who have served as graduate teaching assistants in the biomedical sciences department. Christopher Carls and Randy Province were presented with this year’s award.

Catherine Batz and Christine (CJ) Hart were honored with the RAMS Head Award. The award is granted to students who served as graduate teaching assistants in the osteopathic medical education department.

The Clinical Science Award, which recognizes students who served as graduate teaching assistants in the clinical sciences or family medicine capacity, was awarded to Shaun Raganyi.

Two students from each of the seven statewide campus regions received awards for their third- and fourth-year clinical rotations. Corissa Culichia and Rayan El-Zein received recognition for the northern region; Taylor Hockman and Landon McKinley received recognition for the eastern region; Zane Dennison and Lauren Wackerman received recognition for the central east region; Sarah Abla and Tammy Turner received recognition for the central west region; Catherine Batz and Shaun Raganyi received recognition for the south east region; Lucas Hamrick and Elizabeth Hoover received recognition for the south central region; and Heidi Henson and Taylor Webb received recognition for the south west region.

This was the first year for the Merck Manual Award for Academic Excellence, which is presented to the top two male students and top two female students based on grade point average in their class. The inaugural award went to Taylor Hockman, Landon McKinley, Hannah Economos and Lauren Wackerman.

The Donna Jones Moritsugu Award recognizes an osteopathic medical student’s spouse or partner. The recipient exemplifies the role of a professional’s partner by providing support to their family and the osteopathic profession. This year’s recipient was Aleka Smith, spouse of Matthew Smith.







Date Added: 
Friday, June 1, 2018